Message in a Bottle

Around April time I was given the opportunity to be a part of the launch team for a beautiful personalised book Message in a Bottle this project started out on Kickstarter and now 5 months later here is the book!

I have really enjoyed being part of the team and reading updates from Tuire and the team and putting my thoughts into how some of  the pages of the book look etc. 

When the book arrived I was so excited to see how it has turned out. I didn't even tell Stuart about it (how I kept quite I don't know). After seeing the pages on screen it was so exciting to see the book in print. The book is a personaslised one and you may know by now that I love personalised items. The hero of Message in a Bottle is a little bird Kiki, who loves an adventure and finds a message in a bottle and decide's to deliver the message to the owner. The book is personalised for your child including their name and address on the bottle, their name throughout the book and a very personal message in the back. 

When the book arrived, Stuart and I have had a read of it together.We are yet to read it to Blake as we going to give it to him for his Birthday in December but I know he is going to love it. 

The book itself  has breathtaking illustrations which are bright and colorful and even causes the reader to rotate the book. The book is eye catching and the pages of the book are of high quality paper, including the cover. 

One of the best bits of the book is that you get to read the letter in the bottle. After experiencing the adventure with Kiki you get to see what the letter says. 
We picked a special message from the selection offered and chose one especially for Blake's birthday. 

I love this book, its not just any book its a keepsake for Blake to have in years to come. 
It also has plenty of things for us to chat about such as the different animals and countries too. 

The book is very easy to create and there is a step by step guide on the website on how to do this. You can even include a photo of your choice that you would like to add on the page with the letter. 

We are really thrilled with the book and know others would love the book as much as I know Blake will.

If you would like to get your hands on a copy of the book than the first 10 of my readers to use code TM208U at the checkout will get 15% off the book. 

NCC Home Learning – Fiction/Creative Writing Competition

I've always loved writing from a young age and English was always my favorite subject at School. This is why I chose to take up blogging as its something I love doing. 

The NCC Home Learning are currently holding a competition. The winner of the competition will win a free creative writing course from their website.  All you have to do is fill in the contact form and answer the question here. The competition ends 30/11/2016.

There are also a wide range of writing courses you can find out about on their website including more about the course mentioned in the competition. 

Wildlife Competition with Rattan Direct

If you are like me and love a good competition than you may be interested in the Wildlife competition that Rattan Direct are holding. 

All you need to do is send them a picture of wildlife that you have spotted in your garden. It can be anything (Birds, squirrels, foxes, etc.)
The competition closes on 30/10/2016 you can find more information on the competition here

The winner will receive a Rio (Armed) 4 Chairs And Open Leg Square Table Set. (pictured above) 

Dementia & Alzheimer's Awareness

When it comes to someone you love who has Dementia & Alzheimer's it can be really hard. 
Not many know much about the condition so I am going to share with you some facts about the condition. 

- There are 850,000 people in the UK with Dementia, of which 62% of these people have Alzheimer's.

- Nearly as twice as many women have Alzheimer's than men 

- The first signs are usually minor memory problems which worsen as the condition develops. 

- In 2015 more than 15 million caregivers provided 18.1 billion unpaid hours of care around the world

- Family carers save the UK £11 billion each year 

-The risk of  Alzheimer's increases with age if affects around 1 in 4 people of the age of 65 
and 1 in 6 over the age of 80. 

- Around 1 in 20 people between the ages of 40 and 65 are affected by Alzheimer's disease. 

- Only 44% of people with  Dementia or Alzheimer's in England, wales and Northern Ireland have a diagnosis. 

- World wide nearly 44 million have Alzheimer's or related  Dementia.

If you are a carer of someone with  Dementia or Alzheimer's you can read more information here.

*In collaboration with NRS Healthcare

Reasons I love autumn

I love autumn and winter, this time of year is my favorite I get to start wearing jumpers and boots and get to wear leggings or tights with dresses. 

Here are some of the reason's I love the Autumn months: 

Leaves changing color
The leaves look so pretty with browns, oranges and golden colors and I love walking through the leaves that have fallen from the trees.

I love going for walks more in the autumn there is nothing better than being wrapped up warm and being in the cool air. 

Autumn/winter food
Stews, casseroles, soups, porridge with apple and cinnamon, I could go on. 

Autumn scented candles
I have started to light up my autumn wreath candle and love autumn scents like these that make me feel happy this time of year. 

Wrapping up warm
I love to wear extra layers, snuggly jumpers and also when i'm in doors using my thermal blanket to keep warm. 

Stay indoors
As well as spending time outside I love staying at home and snuggling up with my husband watching TV and feeling all cosy. 

Hot drinks
I love enjoying a steaming mug of hot chocolate, warm mulled wine, autumn themed coffees etc. 

Autumn activities
I can't wait to start doing activities with Blake such as looking for conkers and pine cones, collecting leaves for art work. I'll be compiling an autumn bucket list to share with you soon of what we plan to get up to. 

I was only into Halloween as a child and as i got older never really enjoyed it much.
Now I have Blake I'm looking forward to dressing him up and doing Halloween activities with him. 

Bonfire night
We will be missing it this year as we will be in Cape Verde but I love bonfire night and enjoy watching fireworks from the safety of our home. 

Is Autumn your favorite season? What do you love most about Autumn? 

September Aldi Baby and Toddler Event

Thursday 22nd of September is the start of Aldi's baby and toddler event. I love this event as you can always get some fab bargains for your little one from toys to nappies. 

Since having Blake I have always checked out the event and managed to get things such as washing powder in bulk and they also sell Bambino Miosolo cloth nappies in prints that are only sold in Aldi and are limited stock. 

When Aldi said they would send me a few bits one of the items one I chose was this pale blue fitted sheet. Blake was in the need of an extra fitted sheet for his cot bed and Aldi always do well for things like this in the event. I really love the pale blue which will match his room perfectly. 

The other item is a new bath toy by Nuby. Blake loves having a bath and was in the need of some new bath toys to keep him more entertained. You fill up the stack with water at the top and you can see all the bits inside spin around and the bit at the bottom sprinkles all the water out.

Do you love the Aldi baby and toddler event? Will you be checking the event out on Thursday?

Mummy Style: Pink Clove Micha Wrap Front patterned dress

When it comes to clothing I sometimes find it really hard. I am plus size and with having body confidence issues it takes time for me to find something that I feel comfortable wearing. 

When I got the chance to choose an item from Pink Clove's new arrivals section, I thought a dress that I could wear for when we go on holiday in a few months time would be ideal. 
We have also had a few warm days recently too, so if the sun decides to come out again before the colder months arrive than I have a new dress to relax in. 

I've been thinking recently that it would be great to see more Mum's in clothing rather than model's and fashion bloggers. I think that way you will be able to see more of what clothing looks like on regular people like myself since we all have different body shapes and sizes. 

Pink Clove offer a fab selection of clothing in sizes 16-28 with designs to flatter the fuller figure. With curve flattering cuts including waist-cinching wrap dresses, super-soft jersey and full skater skirts. 

The dress I picked out is the Micha wrap front patterned dress which isn't my usual style. 
When it comes to dresses in general I tend to go for floaty maxi dresses so it's nice to try out something a little different. 

I love the bright and colorful design of this dress and it will be perfect to wear on holiday whether during the day or night and would be great over the top of my swimming costume. 

Sizing wise I am anything from a size 14 to a size 22 depending on the cut and design of clothing. In this case I chose to stay safe and go for a size 20 as usually when it comes to dresses I am a size 18 or 20. I think I could have gone down a size as around my bust it's a bit baggy but in general the dress is very comfy to wear and waist-cinching showing off my curves. 

I like that the sleeves are quarter length as it means that the parts of my arms that I'm not keen on showing off are covered up. When we go away in a few months time the weather is meant to be warm with a cool breeze so wearing this dress means I wont get too cold either. 

The  Micha Wrap dress retails at £20 

What do you think of the  Micha wrap patterned dress? Is it something you would wear? 

Bing! Show and other episodes

Round the corner, not far away, Blake's been watching Bing! today. 
STUDIOCANAL are pleased to announce the release of the final volume of season one of the popular Cbeebies program. Bing: show and other episodes is coming to DVD on October 17th 2016. 

It is the eighth and final volume in season one following Swing, Paddling pool, Fireworks, Surprise machine, Music and Cat. Blake is a huge fan of Bing! and has a few of the other volumes so he was excited when I received show and other episodes for him.

If you are not familiar with Bing! than the program celebrates the  noisy, joyful and messy reality of pre-school life.  The stories are all about everyday dramas that all young children and grown ups can relate to. 

The DVDs episodes are as follows: 
- Show
- Not yours
- Mine
- Woof
- Eggy head
- Toy party
- Mobile phone. 

We spent some of the weekend watching the episodes and Blake was glued to the TV for a good while,which meant we were able to get a few bits and bobs done.

If you want to get your own copy don't forget  it is released 17th October 2016

Living with PCOS: Part Two Weight and Body Image

As I mentioned in part one living with PCOS can be so hard. Today I am talking about issues with my weight and body image. 

It's a topic I've wanted to write about for awhile but I've been putting it off. Basically I am overweight and hate it! That's my feelings on it as I am sure that there are many people who are overweight and are comfortable. Being overweight for me is something I'm just not comfortable with I feel that people are judging me on a daily basis on what I wear and eat. 

My body hasn't always been like it is now I have been slim which was only for a short brief while, before having Blake when I lost 6 stone on slimming world. But most of my life I've been a size 18-20 and at my biggest as size 24. That makes me feel totally self conscious and in general I'm not an bubbly chatty person anyway.

Losing weight when I have PCOS is hard work. I've had to ignore cravings for sweet foods and eat salads which I hate. I've had to try and ignore feeling hungry as I've eaten a lot and couldn't possibly really be hungry still. Over the years since my diagnosis I've read a lot of books and articles and learnt a lot about having the condition and I'm sure that there is so much I still don't know. 
Here are some facts I've learnt regarding PCOS and the issue of weight: 

-With PCOS you can have insulin resistance which means that your body needs more insulin than normal to deal with sugar in your blood stream. 
- Women with PCOS have been found to have a lower metabolic rate. 
- Research has shown that women with PCOS do not feel as full and as satisfied after meals than women who don't have the condition. 

With all that aside I'm sure you could maybe understand why the comment in the photo below "If you really wanted to lose weight you could" makes me so frustrated as the people who has said it to me, are ones that don't have the condition or even know much about it.

Most days I look in the mirror and feel like crying as I am not happy with how I look. 
I find shopping for myself extremely hard as I see nearly everything I wear makes me look and feel fat. When I look at clothing I worry people will see what size I pick up and be secretly laughing,I worry that what I'm wearing makes me look bigger than I am.
When I'm eating I worry that people are staring at me and secretly laughing inside. When I look in the mirror I see someone who needs to lose a lot of weight, someone who's hair is wispy and not thick and long as I want it to be, someone who has excess hair on my body that I have to remove constantly. 

I am trying to eat healthily and get the weight off but the scales just are fluctuating and I'm not actually loosing weight at all.  It doesn't help that I also have thyroid condition which also makes losing weight a battle. 

It's easy to say keep trying, you'll get there eventually etc but it's not that easy.

Living with PCOS: Part One Periods and Fertility

Living with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) is hard. I read that one in ten women have the condition so it is pretty common. I wanted to share with you all my experience of having PCOS and the different symptoms I have and things I struggle with.

I've split it into two posts part one today's post is about Periods and fertility and the next post is all about weight and body image. 

I started my periods at a young age and for the first year as like most girls my period wasn't regular and then I started to get other symptoms on top of not having periods such as struggling with my weight, my hair becoming fine, getting excess hair on my body. 
When I did get periods I was agony and sometimes find this the case still now. I was 15 when I was diagnosed with PCOS and was put on the pill which the Dr's see as a solution. 

When it came to wanting to start a family 8 years after being diagnosed,I had very mixed emotions. I really wanted to have a child and the thought of being told I couldn't have children terrified me.  I was referred to see a gynecologist and whilst I was waiting for a referral I decided to try and loose weight, which I'll go into more about in my next post. After seeing the gynecologist I under went a wide range of tests and after loosing about 3-4 stone I was put on Metaformin and fertility drugs to help me conceive. I also had to have monthly blood tests to see if I was ovulating. I fell pregnant after being on fertility drugs for 4 months which is quicker than I had expected. It took about a year from the beginning of being referred to fall pregnant. 

When I was pregnant with Blake I spent alot of time worrying. I was told that the pregnancy was high risk because of PCOS. It meant that I had to have a glucose tolerance test to make sure I didn't have gestational diabetes  but also kept an eye on more by seeing a consultant regularly. I am blessed to have such a happy and healthy little boy who was born back in December 2014. 

I am very lucky as others with PCOS may have a more harder time when it comes to having a child. I'm also lucky that since having Blake my periods have become regular. Even so PCOS will always be a part of me and it's something I will always struggle with.  

Saving money for our holiday with Debenhmas voucher codes

Recently we have started thinking more about our finances and trying to get better at saving and cutting down on costs. Its pretty difficult at the moment to stop spending as we need to get bits and bobs ready for our holiday in a few months time. There is also birthdays and Christmas that are coming up pretty fast. 

When it comes to holiday items I've made sure that I have a list of all the things we need to purchase and so it makes sense to find Big savings with the latest Debenhams discount codes. I'll be checking out the promo codes to find items we need such as suitcases which we really need to get. We also need to check out fashion and accessories for when we go away the main things I need are a few more tops, shorts, swimming costume and a hat. 
Stuart needs to mainly get shorts, tops and a hat and Blake has most of the stuff he needs. 

I know that Debenhams also have promo codes for health and beauty which is ideal as we will need to purchase suncream and I'd like a few beauty products for using on our holiday and its a good idea for us to make sure we have some calpol and other health related items to take with us. 

Our holiday will definitely come around quick and my mind is at rest knowing that I'll be able to find big savings on the items we need before we go.

*collaborative post"

August Favorites

It's August favorites which means September is here and autumn/winter is approaching. 
This month is mainly TV and film favorites I've been trying to save the £s so not brought much this month other than clothing for holiday in a few months time. 

I love netflix and in August I started watching BBC drama Orphan Black which I have been getting really into and binge watching whenever I get the chance. 

Stuart and I had the chance to go out one Sunday for a meal and to the cinema and we saw Suicide Squad which we both thought was an awesome film and definitely worth watching if you are into films like batman etc.

I finally got round to watching one of my DVDs which Blake got me for my birthday back in June. Dark Places which is based on the book by Gillian Flynn (author of Gone Girl) I love thrillers and this was a good film. I've not actually read the book of this film yet but definitely will get round to at some point. 

Stuart and I also had the opportunity in August to go to the Harry Potter Warner Bro's Studio Tour. We had a great time and definitely recommend it to anyone that loves Harry Potter. 

I have been reading Me before you and am half way through After you by JoJo Moyes which I have really enjoyed. I definitely plan on seeing the film of Me before you once it comes out on DVD. So far I can say that out of the two books I can say that Me before You is much better than the squeal. 

In August  Blake has been loving the Twirly Woos we picked up two of the DVDs in our local supermarket a week ago for him. I'm not sure what it is about them that he likes so much but they keep him entertained so I can get a bit of house work done. 

As a regular reader you will know Blake loves In the night garden and when we went to In the night garden live we got him a goody bag. In the goody bag was this DVD called Magical times which he has just been loving and another thing to keep him entertained whilst I get a few things done. 

Last of all is the Thomas and Friends my first sodor which you can read more about here
It's a great train set which he just loves!